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house listen to the principles themselves, the president speaker boehner talk about these issues, i would rather be here because this is where so much of the same conversation is going to be taking place, and i get the opportunity today to talk to many of those principles directly involved in those negotiations, what's going to play out of the next couple months. it's a critical time in the country's fiscal history right now, tough decisions to be made. and again, honored. glad somebody people are watching as well over the internet and elsewhere. so we are going to begin some additional conversations here right now. i'm going to be talking about with members of congress but also to erskine bowles and alan simpson there. will he talk with some top economist about some of the choices facing those policymakers, but right now we are joined by one of the principals in the conversation to take place over at the white house in just about an hour or so, and that is gene sperling, the director of the national economic council. so i will invite him out there on the stage. so if gene sperling
it off track when there were in fact very close. i think boehner has been very clear. i think revenues are on the table. they are at the moment drawing a line on tax rates, but we will see where that goes. the last time, you are right, didn't work and we were not facing quite the same set of circumstances we are facing today so i'm cautiously optimistic although i will offer to say lastly that people sometimes say okay, it looks like simpson-bowles, everything in between zero and $4 trillion we could end up with all kinds of outcomes that may be less than i would like and maybe less than all of you would like but at least something. i'm hoping it is more over here but i don't know. >> and steve, so we are gathered here to talk about u.s. global competitiveness. how important is resolving these issues to the american position on the global economy? >> first of all i think it's important not just our position in the global comment about our position in the world. admiral mullen who was the previous chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said our greatest national security threat was our f
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